December 3, 2012
Ethnographic Research on Victoria’s Secret and Target
The purpose of this paper was to observe the consumers of a retail store of my choice; I chose to observe Victoria’s Secret and Targets consumers, because I myself am consumers of those stores quite often, then to analyze the behavior of the consumers of Victoria’s Secret and Target. Victoria’s Secret and Target consumers differ because of the difference in type of retail they offer and sell. Victoria’s Secret consumers know what they are going to be shopping for women and certain needs or wants they are looking to satisfy. Target consumers shop for any age and any gender, in various departments that can satisfy needs and wants. Victoria’s Secret consumers are more likely drawn to the store based on hedonic motives compared to a Target consumer who is more likely drawn to the store based on utilitarian motives. Victoria’s Secret
One retail store I chose to observe was Victoria’s Secret at the Geneva Commons, in Geneva, IL on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. Geneva Commons is an upscale lifestyle center, located in an area of higher income families, which is expressed through the stores that are open in the Commons. My first step into Victoria’s Secret I notice Christmas decorations, product advertisements, and pictures of models, I smell Victoria’s Secret Angel perfume, and hear Christmas music playing over the speakers, small talk, and the joy of consumers Christmas shopping. A really close friend of mine, Jackie Lesnick, is an assistant manager at the Victoria’s Secret in Geneva, and I asked her what is the target market for Victoria’s Secret and she responded with “mainly women ages 15 to 60. But another way we target the market is based on size, the average customer is 5 foot 4 weighting about 155 pounds.” This targets women who are slender and are more body conscious.
Customers of Victoria’s Secret were respectful to the merchandise; I found that in Victoria’s Secret every consumer felt the need to touch every product, from bras to underwear, they wanted to feel a comfort to that item. Many pulling items out and looking over them before making a decision, for example I observed a young girl, probably around the age of 16, looking at Pink yoga pants who pulled seven pairs out, then would throw them back in the pile she pulled from. I observed how messy the Pink section of Victoria’s Secret was, many teenagers and young adults shop in this section, and it just felt they did not want to spend the time to refold the items nicely and put them where they found them. The other consumers I observed were white women around the age of 35 to 45. They were more likely to navigate towards the lingerie, sleepwear, or beauty products. These women were testing out every lotion or perfume, feeling the fabrics of robes and pajama sets. These women were more likely to fold the products correctly and put the item back in the proper spot.
During my observation I noticed many consumers that were teenagers would look at an item for a quick second and move on to the next item, I also observed how fast they navigated towards items that were glitzier. Any item that had glitter or sequins caught their eyes, and they spent more time debating on if they should purchase this item. I observed a young adult, college student, age 21, who was interested in a pair of sequined faux-fur lined boots. She looked at the price take and moved right along to the next sequined item she seen, and looked at the price tag and turned around and walked out of the store. Parts of me wishes I would of asked her why she looked at two items and left, but when I went over and looked at the prices also, I understood why she walked out. No college student can afford $70 boots or an $80 zip-up hoodie. For those consumers who were ages 35 to 45, they spent more time looking at merchandise,...